Atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation

Description atrial fibrillation

It is absolutely the most common heart rhythm disorder(arrhythmia =). In a healthy person is a regular rhythm in the range of approximately 60 to 80 beats per minute. When cardiac fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat quite often around 100 beats per minute, but it may not be the rule.

The human heart has four parts, two halls and two chambers which are normally withdraw after another. First download both the atrium, thereby expelling the blood into the ventricles and then pull down the chamber and ejects blood into the bloodstream, this is still repeated. During atrial fibrillation, the two halls and undulates just are not able to download and eject blood into the ventricles. Therefore, blood flows into the chambers passively her withdrawal, which is a healthy person perfectly adequate. The problem may arise particularly in elderly patients more people. As we mentioned above is typical for atrial fibrillation, the heart rhythm is without any signs of regularity, so also called arrhythmias total. Despite all these facts, atrial fibrillation is often without symptoms (asymptomatic) and of itself does not threaten the patient’s life. Unfortunately, the situation may greatly deteriorate if the patient has other illness. In this case, it may worsen the prognosis of treatment success. Very serious complications are also fibrillation, which can endanger the patient themselves, so they are trying to prevent doctors.

Atrial fibrillation affects approximately 5% of the population. With age greatly increases because after about 50 years of age suffer from this disease, 1-2% of people, but octogenarians achieves its incidence of nearly 30 percent. In the future, its incidence continues to increase, because it extends the average life expectancy.

In terms of the duration of the disease, we can be divided into:

Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation

It takes less than 7 days and end up alone. But most often disappears during the first 24 hours and the patient may not even register it, or just feeling heart beat (palpitations), which spontaneously cease.

Persistent atrial fibrillation

It takes more than a week and for its cure is needed medical intervention.

Permanent Atrial Fibrillation

Also it lasts longer than seven days, but will not disappear even after a medical procedure.

Risk factors for atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation often occurs as a manifestation of another disease, especially heart. The most common risk factor is heart muscle damage, overloading, with post-myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, and many others. Precipitating factors for these diseases include high blood pressure(hypertension), smoking, and nowadays often mentioned lack of exercise. It is very important to avoid unhealthy diets, i.e., reduce the intake of cholesterol and sodium (common salt). Needless to say, obesity and excessive alcohol consumption are also the most suitable for our hearts. Further it was found that a higher frequency of occurrence of atrial fibrillation have diabetes (diabetes mellitus = diabetes). Excludable risk factors are congenital and acquired heart defects. As possible reasons for this arrhythmia also include lung diseases (pneumonia, lung cancer and others). Finally, we must not forget the very common thyroid (hyperthyroidism).

Prevention of atrial fibrillation

Prevention of the disease is similar to that of heart disease. The basis of a healthy lifestyle. The first is an absolute ban on smoking both active and passive. It is also important enough exercise and a healthy diet. By this we mean especially limiting the intake of sugar and fat and increase fiber intake, vitamins and antioxidants (fruits and vegetables). Lately the emphasis is on low salt intake. Furthermore, should each have the amount of examination of blood pressure and cholesterol. People with thyroid problems should be monitored endocrinologists.

Signs and symptoms of atrial fibrillation

The most frequent symptom of atrial fibrillation is irregular pulse. The patient can subjectively feel palpitations, which are manifested as palpitations. Furthermore, patients can not tolerate the load (shortness of breath on exertion etc.) are experiencing increased fatigue and sometimes even dull squeezing chest pain (angina pectoris). Not unusual presence swoon. An interesting symptom is the so-called peripheral pulsed deficit. That is the difference between the number of heart beats and beats on peripheral blood vessel. A symptom of atrial fibrillation caused by hyperthyroidism may be weight loss or diarrhea.

Diagnosis of Atrial Fibrillation

On atrial fibrillation can be inferred from the findings on physical examination see signs and symptoms. The method of choice detection of arrhythmia, however, electrocardiography (ECG). It is often used so-called Holter monitor when the ECG or even blood pressure measured over a long period, for example 12 hours. This is important when the occurrence of recurrent paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. Another very beneficial examination echocardiography (an ultrasound test of the heart), which can detect disease-causing atrial fibrillation. Echo is also important in preventing complications when his help, we can reveal a blood clot in the heart. Completely routine patient’s chest x-rays (X-ray of the heart and lungs).

Treatment of atrial fibrillation

There are two basic approaches in the treatment of atrial fibrillation. The first approach ispharmacological. There are a number of drugs that are administered, often on a particular drug will decide other related diseases. Examples of drugs are: propafenone, sotalol, amiodarone and others.

Another possibility is electric cardioversion at which the defibrillator through the chest wall through discharge applied electric current, which disrupts cardiac arrhythmia. The patient is before the performance for a short put to sleep to feel pain.

The most radical treatment is radiofrequency ablation, interventional cardiologist when using a catheter through the femoral arteries frequently to prevent the emergence of other heart fibrillation.

Concomitant therapy is anticoagulation or antiaggregation, which is the prevention of blood clots in the atrium and its breakaway and odcestování example to the brain, where it could cause a stroke (stroke = stroke). When antiaggregation are normally served Anopyrin (acetylsalicylic acid).Examples anticoagulation drugs are heparin, warfarin, and others. For this treatment may be an increase in bleeding, but it is a tax for reducing the risk of stroke.

How can I help treat atrial fibrillation

The basis is the prevention of heart disease such as myocardial infarction, angina pectoris and other means of a healthy lifestyle. Especially healthy diet and plenty of movement. It is very important in today’s hectic times everything possible to avoid stress. It is very important to adhere to the advice and recommendations of doctors.

Complications of atrial fibrillation

Very serious complication is stroke (stroke). Arises after releasing a blood clot from the atrium. The clot then travels through the bloodstream into the brain arteries clog up. Therefore, it is important to treat blood clots with drugs. Another serious complication may be heart failure, when the heart is not enough to adequately work because of a dysfunctional atrial contractions. This happens only if present and other cardiac diseases.

Other names: Irregular action fibrillation, cardiac arrhythmia, an irregular heartbeat, atrial fibrillation, AV, AFib

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